We’ve all made split-second decisions we regret. Decisions that escalate, that snowball into situations suddenly beyond our control. It seems to happen a lot on dates – probably due to that dangerous combination of nerves, enthusiasm and alcohol.
We’re basically all Ross Geller and his leather trousers taking advice from Joey (Joey!), but for one woman, this went beyond – for one woman, having a poo while on a Tinder date spiralled into an incredible tale of broken windows, fire crews and crowdfunding.
According to her date, who is going under the name Liam Smyth, the couple enjoyed a meal out before returning to Smyth’s house for Netflix and chill. Partway through a bottle of wine and a Louis Theroux documentary, Bristol University student Smyth says she disappeared to the loo.
It’s never ideal to need the toilet in someone else’s house, but we’re all people and sometimes you can’t plan these things. However, he reports that his date soon found that “it would not flush”.
In the world’s worst choose-your-own-path book, we pose this question: what’s your next step? Leave it in the toilet and tell your date, hoping they’re as cool about it as you? Leave it and deny all knowledge? Throw it in the bin, fingers crossed it doesn’t stink out the flat before you can retrieve it unseen, like a poo ninja in the night? Find an implement to break it up, probably the toilet brush, and then stay upstairs as long as it takes to get rid of it?
Or, try and throw it out of the window, realise it’s stuck, tell your date and then get stuck yourself, upside down, in the poo window, resulting in the fire brigade having to rescue you and your date setting up a crowdfunder to pay for the broken bathroom?
As Smyth recalls, “She returned with a panicked look in her eye, and told me she had something to tell me. ‘I went for a poo in your toilet,’ she told me ‘and it would not flush. I don’t know why I did this, but I panicked.’
“She continued ‘I reached into the toilet bowl, wrapped it in tissue paper, and threw it out of the window’.”
It’s at this point Smyth reveals that a “design quirk” of his student house means the window is actually a double window, and the poo she’d dropped out of it was now stuck in the “twilight zone” between glass panes.
Smyth says his date was keen to solve the problem herself – as you would be. So after trying to reach it a couple of times, Smyth “gave her a boost” and launched her into the gap. Where she removed the package, but got stuck. Really, really stuck.
“Unfortunately for my date, at this stage I could see only one way out of our predicament. She had been upside down in the window for around 15 minutes at this point, and I was starting to grow concerned for her health. I called the fire brigade.”
And they, “using all of their special firemen hammers and tools”, spent 15 minutes freeing the unnamed woman and causing significant damage to the window in the process.
Given Smyth is a student, he says he doesn’t exactly have the £300 required to fix the damage down the back of the sofa (or in the gap between windows). Thus he set up a crowdfunding page – with, he assures, his date’s full blessing.
At last count, the page had rocketed up to more than £2,100, with comments from donors grateful for the laugh, wishing the pair a happy future together and reassuring them that “we’ve all been there (sort of)”.
Smyth says anything raised beyond the cost of the window will be split between two good causes: a toilet-twinning charity which builds and maintains toilets in the developing world, and to a firefighters charity. The page closes on Sunday (10 September).
We present this story to a. remind you your own first date nightmares are probably not as bad, and b. to commend this woman for doing good things. OK, on the face of it, it looks like a string of bad decisions. But she owned up. She tried to rectify the problem. She allowed the tale to be used for good, not evil.
And she reminded men everywhere that yes, women do poo.
Smyth has met up with the woman since – so there could even be a love story in the offing. Speaking to The Mirror, he said of his date: “She’s a lovely girl – I’m not sure what’s going to happen.
“I’m really busy with my dissertation at the moment but I’d certainly be open to seeing her again.”
This could all be nothing more than a lead-up to the best wedding speech ever. And if not, it’s a stunning toilet story guaranteed to echo through the ages.